My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Washington County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Hon. Sam Byrns, attorney at law, Potosi, was born in Jefferson County, Mo., March 4, 1848. His father, Thomas Byrns, is a native of the same county, and a successful agriculturist. His mother was Margaret J. Bowles, of St. Louis County. In a family of nine children, Sam, as he is familiarly called and generally known, is the eldest of the living; he was reared in his native county on a farm, receiving his education at Steelville, Crawford County, St. James, Phelps County, and in St. Louis. After choosing the legal profession as a vocation he read law with Judge John L. Thomas & Bro., and was admitted to the bar at Hillsboro, Jefferson County, in 1872, at once entering into the active practice of his chosen calling. In 1876 he received the nomination for presidential elector on the Democratic ticket for this district and made the campaign in the interest of the same, but in the fall of the same year he received the nomination for representative to the State Legislature and resigned the nomination for elector; he was elected to the General Assembly by a good majority and served on the committees of judiciary, immigration and local bills. In 1878 he was elected to the Senate from the Twenty-sixth Senatorial District, and served as chairman of the committee of criminal jurisprudence. In 1880 he formed a partnership with ex-circuit judge, Louis F. Dinning, and the firm of Dinning & Byrns do an extensive practice in the courts of Southeast Missouri, also in the Federal court of St. Louis. He moved to Potosi in 1883. Mr. Byrns was married in 1872 to Miss Laura E. Honey, who died in 1880, and he was again married in 1884 to Miss Lissie A. Moss, of Jefferson County. In 1886 he was elected a member of the Democratic State Central Committee. In politics, he is a partisan Democrat. As a lawyer Mr. Byrns ranks among the foremost of the members of the legal profession in Southeast Missouri. In his practice he has been faithful and laborious to a fault, vigilant and painstaking, investigating both the law and facts. He is both a civil and a criminal lawyer, whose knowledge of either branch of the law is not questioned, and whose power as an advocate is admitted by the legal profession.

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This family biography is one of 138 biographies included in The History of Washington County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Washington County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Washington County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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